Your first soap making process does not always give you the results you are looking for. A ruined batch of soap also means a loss of time, money and most of all, the ingredients. Doing a test before you proceed with your soap making is very helpful. Just like any activity, natural soap making is a trial and error method.
Below is a list of some common mistakes in the soap making process.
1. Making a huge batch of soap. In business, the motto is start small, think big. This also holds true for your soap making process. There is always a chance that the recipe you have never used before can create problems with your batch of soap. Therefore if you make a huge batch, many of those ingredients will be wasted. Try using two pounds as a safe test size. If it works, then there is a higher chance that your larger batch will come out perfect.
2. Changing multiple ingredients. Experimenting with ingredients in the soap making process is good as you progress in the activity. However at the start, it is preferable for you to use a recipe that has been tried and tested. Refrain from changing more than one ingredient at a time in a recipe if you do not know what each ingredient will add or take away from the soap.
3. Putting in too many additional ingredients. Soap making is indeed a fun activity and as you become familiar with the process, you cannot help but try experimenting with the ingredients. You are free to add whatever fragrance you choose; additives such as olive oil, essential oils, sodium hydroxide and coloring. However, sometimes, adding too many ingredients can become a disaster, as it can completely ruin your soap. For example, if you use too much fragrance in your soap, the fragrance will thin out the product and it will be impossible to repair the damage.
4. Lack of patience. The soap making process does not end within an hour after your soaps are done. Soap is best when you allow ample time for the formulations to sit. Natural ingredients could take a few months if they are not combined at the right temperature. You can label your soap by batches and number and check every now and then to make sure that they are still stable. Note how long the fragrance lasts and check to see if your soap shrinks from the wrapper.
5. Not writing down soap making instructions. The more you make soap, the basics will start to become very simple and you can do it automatically. However do not think that you can remember everything, especially when you start making many different kinds of soaps. Write it down and keep a journal that you can check out every now and then. You may even wish to separate your work into different categories such as liquid soap, or solid, whether you used a hot process and even compile lists of your soap supplies. After all, soap making is not the only activity you do around the house. This way, you will have a fantastic resource, that you can refer to anytime you need it.
6. Putting in fragrance without testing. You often make changes in your soap recipe and mostly on the fragrance. Fragrance oils are just one aspect of the basic elements of your soap and experimenting with them can be a lot of fun. However if you are not sure about what the fragrance can do to your soap, it is best to test it first. Test the fragrance oil in a small batch of soap before you decide to add it to your larger batch. Essential oils are expensive yet provide a beautiful scent to your natural soap, so be careful and do not forget to keep instructions for yourself. Soon you will have some great soaps that will not only smell terrific but provide effective skin care too.